Doctor looking at personalized cancer therapy results

Information for Physicians

With rare exception, all human cancers present the treating physician with therapeutic choices.  Currently hundreds of drugs, combinations and targeted agents are used to treat cancer patients. 

How do you as a treating oncologist choose?

What if you could receive specific information on how your patient’s cancer cells will react to single agents, combinations or targeted therapies?  What if there was a tool to help you significantly improve the chances of your patient’s response and survival?.  

Well there is and it's called a functional profiling test.

For 20+ years, Dr. Nagourney and Rational Therapeutics have refined the technology of functional profiling, a laboratory test that provides a real-time snapshot of how human tumors behave within their natural Get Our Functional Profiling Infographic microenvironment. 

Click here for sample survival curves.

See Why Harvard Investigators Endorse Functional Profiling After incorporating the realization that cancer biology was predicated on cell survival and not cell growth, we redoubled our efforts to recreate the human tumor micro-environment in tissue culture. We immediately recognized that this required the  preservation of cell-cell interactions found normally in the body as cellular clusters.

These cellular clusters better known as microspheroids represent cohesive populations that interact directly with stroma, vasculature, inflammatory cells, and other tumor cells. Thus, the microspheroid recapitulates the human tumor environment.

By applying cell death endpoints (the most rigorous of predictive measures) to these microspheroids, we have overcome pitfalls encountered by earlier technologies. And, for the first time, a truly predictive human tumor model that we call the Ex Vivo Analysis of Programmed Cell Death (EVA-PCD) assay has been developed.   

Pancreatic cancer cells isolated into microspheroids and maintained in a 3-D environment.
Pancreatic cancer cells exposed to Trimetrexate – no effect.
Pancreatic cancer cells undergoing programmed cell death following exposure to Mitomycin C plus Irinotecan. 


Working with you to ensure the best outcomes for cancer patients.

Whether the patient is newly diagnosed, experiencing a recurrence or their current chemotherapy is no longer effective, we can help. Living cells vs. dead cells shows which drugs kill the cancer cells (these cells are “sensitive” to these drugs) and which ones do not (these cancer cells are “resistant” to these drugs).  

Results are available within 7-10 days. Click here for a Sample Report.

The patient is a good candidate for the EVA-PCD analysis if: 

  1. The patient is considering chemotherapy.
  2. The patient is not currently receiving treatment (whereby the current treatment may interfere with our results).
  3. We can easily obtain a 1 cm piece of viable tumor (solid tumor, lymph nodes, cytologically positive pleural or ascites fluid).  NOTE:  Needle biopsies do not provide the quantity of tumor required.
  4. The sample is received in our laboratory within 24-36 hours of collection. 

The number of drugs analyzed is dependent upon the quantity/quality of the sample we receive.  

We are happy to work with you to customize drug panels for each patient based on their diagnosis and previous treatment history. The use of this assay enables you to prescribe those agents with the highest probability of improving the patient’s outcome and minimizing unnecessary toxic therapies.   Click here to download the Specimen Processing Instructions and Assay Requisition Form.

Call us at 800-542-4357 for more information or to order a specimen transportation kit. 

Click here for Specimen Requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Are Other Physicians Saying?

Physician Endorsements

Click here for a copy of our Physician Brochure.


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